Posted by: Jennifer | February 2, 2007

When He Was Wicked – Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn. When He Was Wicked. (New York: Avon Books, 2004). 0060531231.

Main Characters: Francesca Bridgerton Stirling and Michael Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin.

Date of Story: Part One – 1820; Part 2: 1824. 

Related Works: The Bridgerton Series includes the books The Duke and I, The Viscount who Loved Me, An Offer from a Gentleman, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, To Sir Phillip, With Love, When He Was Wicked, It’s in His Kiss, and On the Way to the Wedding. There are also two related novellas that include Lady Whistledown: The First Kiss from Lady Whistledown Strikes Back and 65 Valentines from The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown. Lady Danbury, from How to Marry a Marquis appears is most of the books in the Bridgerton Series.

Description from book:

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one’s life will never be the same. for Michael Stirling, London’s most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca’s surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer–the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

But that was then . . . Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still thinks of his as nothing other thanher dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love . . . until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets. . .

My Thoughts:

It is a toss up between When He Was Wicked and Romancing Mr. Bridgerton(I love Colin) as to which one is my favorite of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Series. I love them all, but I have reread these two over and over again. Michael Stirling is SO in love – and so tortured by his feelings for Francesca that he has to leave England for four years. Some of the passages are almost painful to read, because his feelings seem so obvious to everyone but Francesca.

Francesca is a bit of an odd duck. Without a doubt, she is the least talked about Bridgerton siblings overall. In fact, the only time we really get to see her is in this book. In the first couple of books of the series, she is definitely still at home. After that she is suddenly married and away in Scotland with her first husband John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin.

One of the things that I love about this story is Colin giving advice to Michael about his sister (have I mentioned that Colin is secretly my favorite Bridgerton). The conversation between Michael and Colin is so funny – but seems so necessary. We are left to believe that if Colin hadn’t interfered Michael might not have run off to Scotland after Francesca toward the end of the novel.

This novel makes me happy!!!

Read again: January 31, 2007.

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